SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Happy Wednesday, Utah! We are starting out with active skies as a cold front pushed into Utah overnight bringing an organized line of precipitation and changing the wind direction from the south to the northwest. 

The bottom line? An atmospheric river funnels moisture into Utah.

While we will see another day of breezy conditions across the state, with the strongest winds outside of the high terrain will be along and west of I-15 where we have a Wind Advisory in place until noon on Wednesday. Areas under the advisory will see sustained winds between 25-35 mph and gusts could top 45-55 mph.

East-to-west driving routes, including I-80, will see strong southerly cross winds and high-profile vehicles face travel impacts. Winds will spike as the cold front moves through different parts of the state as well. 

Valley rain and mountain snow continue for the morning and afternoon for some locations, and snow levels are gradually falling as colder air works its way back behind a cold front. By Wednesday night, the snow level in northern Utah could drop back down to the benches, between 5500 – 6000 feet. Overall, we will see valley rain and mountain snow, but if the moisture lingers behind the front there is a chance that some benches and typically colder valleys like Cache Valley, could see some mixed precipitation, or some sloppy wet snow. 

Some of our winter alerts remain in effect. A Winter Storm Warning is set for the southern Utah mountains including Brian Head and Alton. The warning begins at 3 p.m. on Tuesday and is set to remain in place until 6 a.m. Thursday.

1-2 feet of snow accumulations are expected mainly above 8000 feet. Below that, accumulations will be significantly lower. Winter travel conditions will be made trickier with strong winds. The southeastern mountains in the La Sal and Abajo Mountains (including the city of Monticello) will be included in a Winter Storm Warning that will run from midnight tonight through midnight tomorrow night. 8-16 inches of snow will be possible above 8,000 feet and gusts over 50 mph will also be possible. 

The Winter Storm Warning for the Wasatch Mountains and Western Uintas starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday through 6 a.m. Thursday. 1-2 feet of snow will be possible with over 2 feet being in the realm of possibility for the upper Cottonwoods. Like the warning for the southern mountains, strong winds are expected. Snow totals will be slightly less for the central Utah mountains. As a result, a Winter Weather Advisory from 6 p.m. Tuesday until 6 a.m. Thursday has been issued for the area.

In general, above 7,500 feet, 6-12 inches of snow is expected including the Wasatch Plateau, Book Cliffs, and cities like Scofield. The eastern Uintas are also included in an advisory that will run from 6 p.m. this evening through 6 p.m. Wednesday. Above 8,000 feet 6-12 inches will be possible. 

While our mountains will see the healthiest snow totals, you can’t rule out the chance of mountain valleys picking up some snow.  Mountain valleys are likely to see 1-6 inches possibly up to 8 inches around Park City, but in both cases, times of straight rain will be possible given the higher snow levels. On the benches and typically colder valleys like Cache in northern Utah trace-3 inches looks possible, if the moisture holds on long enough. For our valleys, rain is most likely, however, if the moisture lingers as the colder air moves in, minor accumulations can’t be ruled out between late Wednesday and early Thursday. 

As the cold front moves through, we will see precipitation taper off from North to South. A few isolated showers will hang on for the high country through Thursday morning. By Thursday afternoon, skies look to be dry across the board.

We’ll close out the workweek with daytime highs about 5-10 degrees below average. We will get sunshine for our St. Patrick’s Day though! Temperatures won’t move much this weekend, but we could see some more active weather with some hit-or-miss wet weather potential before even more active weather next week! 

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